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Pretty Cool Ice Cream
Photograph: Jack Li

14 kid-approved eats at Time Out Market Chicago

Little ones love these market bites, from chicken tenders and pizza to dumplings and sushi

By Morgan Olsen
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Time Out Market is chock-full of deliriously delicious eats from some of the best restaurants in Chicago, including the likes of Abe Conlon of Fat Rice, Brian Fisher of Entente, Dana Salls Cree of Pretty Cool Ice Cream and John Manion of El Che Steakhouse & Bar. But it's not all chi-chi, high-end bites—there's plenty here for young diners to devour, too. Picky eaters will love the crispy chicken tenders and some of the best deep-dish pizza Chicago has to offer. If you've got a budding foodie on your hands, up the ante with an order of empanadas, dumplings or sushi rolls. There's something for the whole family at Time Out Market Chicago, and these dishes have two thumbs up from kiddos.

RECOMMENDED: Browse the full lineup of Time Out Market Chicago eateries and menus

Kid-approved eats at Time Out Market Chicago

Mini Mott
Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

Wimpy at Mini Mott

Restaurants West Loop

Despite its name, this burger is a strong contender for dinner—no matter your age. Unlike the original, which has two patties, the Wimpy goes single with one griddled angus patty, American cheese, hoisin aioli, sweet potato frizzles, pickled jalapeños, pickles, miso butter and onions. We know what you're thinking: The kind folks behind the counter are happy to customize the toppings depending on your little diner's palate.

Art of Pizza, Time Out Market Chicago
Photograph: Jack X. Li

Pepperoni stuffed at The Art of Pizza

Restaurants West Loop

If there's a kid out there who doesn't love pizza, we have yet to meet them. Art's golden, saucy pies are available in thin, pan and stuffed, depending on how hungry your little ones are. (For reference, a single slice of stuffed easily satisfies a famished adult.) Pepperoni and mozzarella are safe bets, but feel free to sneak in an order of spinach without the kids hearing—it's just as tasty as the rest.

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Dos Urban chocolate cake
Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

Chocolate cake at Dos Urban Cantina

Restaurants West Loop

If you're looking for good-behavior leverage, tempt them with a slice of this famed chocolate cake from Jennifer Jones Enyart. The two-layer confection is fudgy and decadent, with just enough frosting to fully satisfy any sweet tooth. Parents: Grab a bite while you can; this cake has a habit of disappearing fast.

Photograph: Jack X. Li

Chicken strips at Split-Rail

Restaurants West Loop

Most kids menus include chicken strips, but they don't have anything on chef Zoe Schor's recipe, which renders poultry juicy, crispy and golden-brown. Toss in an order of tater tots and choose from kid-approved sauces like sweet BBQ and honey mustard. We have a feeling your children will be in the Clean Plate Club tonight.

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Photograph: Sandy Noto

Avocado roll at Arami

Restaurants West Loop

If your kiddo is a sushi-eating fiend, Arami's got you covered with a slew of delicious rolls to choose from. Newbies can start with simpler menu items, like rolls stuffed with lightly seasoned cucumber or avocado. Adventurous eaters dig the shrimp tempura roll, which is perfectly crunchy and can be ordered with or without spicy mayo. Moms and Dads, go nuts with the Amazake, with unagi, grilled pineapple, salmon and red chili.

Photograph: Jack X. Li

Decent at Decent Beef

Restaurants West Loop

It's about time you introduce your Chicago-born kid to a quintessential Italian beef sandwich. Chef Kevin Hickey makes it easy with his namesake Decent, which finds tender shaved prime rib and savory beef jus inside a crusty sub roll. Picky eaters can stop there, while more savvy littles can opt to add on sweet peppers or aged provolone.

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Bill Kim
Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

Caramelized pork dumplings at Bill Kim

Restaurants West Loop

We always recommend ordering a plate of Bill Kim's shareable pork dumplings if you're dining with friends, and the same advice goes for families. These crispy nuggets are packed with flavorful meat and tossed in sticky Belly soy sauce—not too spicy, not too complicated. Don't be surprised if the kiddos beat you to the last dumpling!

Photograph: Morgan Olsen

Phở gà at Thai Dang

Restaurants West Loop

Your youngsters adore chicken noodle soup, and when you think about it, pho isn't much different than the classic recipe. In chef Thai Dang's version, tender chunks of chicken and bean sprouts mingle with rice noodles in a mild broth that's dressed up with fresh herbs and lime. Each spoonful tastes like a big, warm hug—perfect for cold days and under-the-weather youngsters.

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Pretty Cool Ice Cream
Photograph: Jack Li

Anything at Pretty Cool

Restaurants West Loop

When we say anything, we mean anything. Pastry wizard Dana Salls Cree specializes in nostalgia-inducing popsicles that are a step above the stuff you get from the ice-cream truck. We're talking about dreamy blue moon (they'll never realize it's plant-based), sprinkle-coated rainbow chip and chocolate-covered peanut butter. Grab a few extra and stash them in the freezer for a rainy day.

Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

Empanadas at John Manion

Restaurants West Loop

These empanadas are so tasty that the kids won't even realize that they're getting their daily dose of greens. Here's the secret: Chef John Manion packs 'em with melty gruyere and loads of kale, and somehow, all we can taste is deliciousness. That's a white lie we can live with.

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Photograph: Lorenzo Tassone

Corn Dog Elote at Duck Inn Dogs

Restaurants West Loop

Channel summer fairgrounds with this decked-out, deep-fried dog that's topped with mild cotija cheese, Tajin-lime crema, cilantro, sweet corn pico and radish. Customize it depending on your youngster's aversions

Dos Urban Cantina, Time Out Market Chicago
Photograph: Sandy Noto

Chicken verde tacos at Dos Urban Cantina

Restaurants West Loop

An order of chips and guacamole or roasted tomato salsa for the table is a no-brainer. If you're feeding little ones, toss in the chicken verde tacos, which are loaded with tender meat and topped with crema, shredded lettuce and queso fresco—no jalapeño or super-spicy ingredients. Each serving is portioned just right for dinner with two tortilla-wrapped handhelds.

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Photograph: Lorenzo Tassone

Pocket pies at Sugar Cube

Restaurants West Loop

While you're making your way through Time Out Market Chicago, you'll probably have to peel your kids away from the pastry case at Sugar Cube, which is filled with picture-perfect confections. Take a trip down memory lane with pastry chef Christine McCabe's Pocket Pies, homemade versions of the sugar-packed morning pastries that come wrapped in silver foil. Crafted with fresh fruit filling and flaky pastry dough, you'll never go back to the store-bought stuff again.

Time Out Market Chicago
Photograph: Jack Li

Grilled cheese at The Purple Pig

Restaurants West Loop

Parents will love the nostalgia-inducing PB&J, which is layered with addictive duck prosciutto, pistachio butter and tart cherry jelly. But for the kids, it's all about the gourmet grilled cheese, layered with fontina, muenster and cheddar and finished with a drizzle of sweet honey. And hey, if they don't finish the whole thing, the leftovers won't at all disappoint your adult taste buds.

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